Author: Allison van Diepen
Publish Date: February 2009 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 304, paperback
Reason for reading: For fun =)
Nic, who we'll come to know as "Raven" is a regular teenage girl who, with her parents permission, works as a underage waitress at a nightclub. She is also part of a breakdance crew known as the TopRocks who frequenly perform and battle other breakdancers at the club. With the exception of school and classes, she pretty much spends every other waking moment with Zin. He's her best friend, dance partner and fellow employee at the club. She's loved him from the moment she saw him dance, but won't dare say a word for fear of spoiling their friendship. When feelings are revealed, she's rejected by Zin. Not because he doesn't reciprocate them but because he harbors a secret that would make it nearly impossible for them to be together. A secret that he's not very happy about!
The dancing element of this story is quite prominent so the book is littered with breakdance terminology that is hard to follow (unless you happen to be a breakdancer). However, I personally didn't feel that this detracted from the story. On the contrary; it shows that the author went the extra mile to write as accurately as possible. It was actually fun to imagine these guys busting a move on the dance floor.
From the book's tag line, "Death is inevitable, passion is eternal" you just know that there was going to be a paranormal element to the story. I was glad to know that Zin, our paranormal secret keeper was not just another run-of-the-mill vampire, but a very real guy with an extra oomph in his step. (I won't reveal why or how he got that oomph.) Eventually the secret is revealed and Nic's progression from shock to anger & fear to acceptance was very realistic.
Interlaced with the story of Nic & Zin's relationship and Zin's secret, is a very real issue. Nic's brother is a meth addict who has distanced himself from his family and destroyed his own future. Nic has a lot of resentment towards him for the brother she's lost, the future he's thrown away and the pain he's caused her family. Her feelings of anger, yet unconditional love for her brother is very touching and what I imagine to be very real for someone in that position. Nic is 'damaged' because of this situation and [as a reader] it makes you appreciate the difficulty of dealing with drug addictions in the home/family.
Overall, I enjoyed the book! It had relatable characters, interesting dynamics, fun elements and some depth.
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥